Russia 'Has Leverage' Over Trump Foreign Policy Says ex-CIA Chief
The president's foreign policy is "totally at odds with what the U.S. intelligence community believes,” Jeremy Bash argued.
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The Trump administration has announced it plans to launch a global effort to end the criminalisation of homosexuality with a new campaign to be spearheaded However, while it is legal to be homosexual, LGBT couples are offered no protections from discrimination. They are also actively discriminated
The Trump administration defended its approach to LGBT health as part of its broader health care strategy. "The policies of the Trump administration are And we’ve seen nothing but disappointing and harmful policies come out of HHS and [the civil rights office] since the meeting." "A number of us
No parent can ever be fully prepared for the arrival of a new baby. But when Roee and Adiel Kiviti brought home their newborn daughter Kessem two months ago, they figured that they were as ready as they could be. After all, they’d gone through the same process two years earlier with their son Lev, who, like Kessem, was born with the help of an egg donor and a gestational surrogate in Canada.
“It was as straightforward as one can imagine,” Roee told The Daily Beast, recalling the ease of bringing Lev home in late 2016, the infant’s newly printed Canadian passport in hand, soon to be supplanted by an American one. But this February, when Kessem’s fathers contacted the U.S. consulate in Calgary to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad for their daughter—the legal equivalent of a birth certificate for Americans born outside of the United States—something was different this time.
Irish-British deal guarantees cross-border freedom and citizens’ rights post-Brexit
A memorandum has been signed in order to secure the rights of Irish and British citizens post-Brexit. Tanaiste Simon Coveney and UK Cabinet Office minister David Lidington signed the memorandum in London ahead of a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.
This is an article about the social policy of Donald Trump during his presidency. President Donald Trump describes himself as pro-life and generally opposes abortion with some exceptions: rape
“They first indicated that they needed proof of our marriage, which I found quite odd,” Roee said. “They needed the original marriage certificate, which we didn’t have with us, but I didn’t actually think anything more about it. I thought, ‘We don’t have time for this, we’ll just deal with it in the U.S.’”
Related: Trump's transgender ban brings chaos and 'a lot of fear' to troops' families © Daily Beast Trump's transgender ban brings chaos and 'a lot of fear' to troops' families
Roee and Adiel obtained Kessem’s Canadian passport—a stopgap, they figured, until they could get her U.S. passport back home—and traveled back to their home in the United States.
But Kessem was about to become the latest victim of a government policy that effectively de-recognizes her parents’ marriage, granting her no automatic rights to American birthright citizenship despite the fact that both her fathers are U.S. citizens. That policy, Kessem’s fathers told The Daily Beast, poses a unique threat to LGBT families, and could change the decades-old legal understanding of what the word “family” even means.
Justice minister orders ban on anti-LGBT preacher from speaking in Ireland
Justice minister orders ban on anti-LGBT preacher from speaking in Ireland
“ Administration -specific content that was posted on state.gov during President Obama’s tenure was Crowd of people hold LGBT dance party outside Mike Pence's house. “It is outrageous that the new However, Politifact pointed out that the Obama administration laid out its digital transition plan in
Trump administration steps in to pressure 4-H to drop LGBT policy. Ramaswamy told the Des Moines Register he received several calls demanding the guidelines be rescinded, and was also requested to do so during a meeting with Purdue’s chief of staff at the time, who has since left the role but would
“This is a very clear attack on families, on American families,” Roee, who married Adiel in California in 2013, told The Daily Beast. “Denying American married couples their rights to pass their citizenship, that is flat-out discrimination, and everyone should be concerned about this.”
Related: Ireland bans US 'deaths to gays' preacher © Pink News Ireland bans US 'deaths to gays' preacher
For years, President Donald Trump has called for the elimination of birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants who are born on American soil. Those children, slurred as “anchor babies,” are accused of being birthed with the sole purpose of tethering their non-citizen parents to the United States. The Trump administration’s promised executive orders ending this “loophole” have not materialized, but the president’s war on birthright citizenship has many fronts—and one little-noticed State Department policy has now resulted in a reverse version of Trump’s “anchor baby” scenario, where the children of U.S. citizens born abroad are effectively being stopped at the border.
Beijing calls for a 'people's war' against the US as Trump threatens tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods in all-out trade battle
The US-China trade war has dramatically escalated over the past few days, with both sides imposing steep new tariffs on each other's goods.
Advocates and the transgender community are putting out a loud call to "protect trans kids " after the Add LGBT as an interest to stay up to date on the latest LGBT news, video, and analysis from ABC News spoke to several trans students and their families about the Trump administration 's new
If married black couples are having far fewer children than before — down by half to two-thirds in fact — and are cutting back even faster than single women, the overall percentage of births that are out - of - wedlock will rise, owing nothing to the have lots more kids . How about it Trump fans?
In June 2017, the State Department issued new rules unilaterally changing the department’s interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a 1952 law that, along with the 14th Amendment, codifies eligibility for U.S. birthright citizenship.
“The U.S. Department of State interprets the INA to mean that a child born abroad must be biologically related to a U.S. citizen parent,” the State Department’s website says. “Even if local law recognizes a surrogacy agreement and finds that U.S. parents are the legal parents of a child conceived and born abroad… if the child does not have a biological connection to a U.S. citizen parent, the child will not be a U.S. citizen at birth.”
Related: Out and proud: LGBT celebrities (Photos)
Popular by her stage name Superwoman, the Indian-origin Canadian artiste posted a tweet in February 2019, revealing that she is bisexual. She wrote, "Throughout my life these have proven to be obstacles from time to time. But now I’m fully embracing them as my superpowers." The twitterati came out in support, liking and sharing her tweet in thousands. She responded with another tweet, saying, "Thank you so much for the love and positivity. Words can’t describe how much it means. I appreciate you all. Group hug ❤️❤️❤️❤️????"
Both Parents Are American. The U.S. Says Their Baby Isn’t.
James Derek Mize is an American citizen, born and raised in the United States. His husband, who was born in Britain to an American mother, is a United States citizen, too. But the couple’s infant daughter isn’t, according to the State Department. She was born abroad to a surrogate, using a donor egg and sperm from her British-born father. Those distinct circumstances mean that, under a decades-old policy, she did not qualify for citizenship at birth, even though both her parents are American. “It’s shocking,” said Mr. Mize, 38, a former lawyer who lives in Atlanta with his husband, Jonathan Gregg, a management consultant.
Trump is bullying transgender kids because he thinks he can get away with it | Evan Greer. The joint letter from her agency and Sessions released on Wednesday read: “All schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.
The vice president responded that Trump 's decision was in line with his message about the LGBT community on the campaign trail. He's directed the administration to begin to look at ways, both legislatively and through executive action, to do that.”
Jolie, who dated actress-model Jenny Shimizu in the 90s, spoke about her bisexuality in a 2001 interview to Movieline and said, “When I was 20, I fell in love with somebody who happened to be a woman. I didn’t flirt around with girls; I just suddenly noticed this woman’s sweater and the way her pants fit and realized, my God! I was noticing things in a sexual way. I wanted to be close to her because I had feelings for her. The reality is, I love people.”
While talking about the inspiration behind her single, "Girls," the popstar tweeted, "Girls was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life... I have had romantic relationship with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey."
Heard, ex-wife of actor Johnny Depp, revealed she was bisexual in a 2010 interview, reported by People. The actress said she has “never hidden” her sexuality, however, her disclosure impacted her career. “It was difficult. I was the only one working in this way, so it was difficult because no one had done it. I did that even though everyone told me it would end my career, without a doubt.”
Nancy Pelosi: Donald Trump 'Had Temper Tantrum For Us All to See'
Nancy Pelsoi called out Donald Trump in a letter sent to Democratic colleagues on Wednesday night after the president stormed out of a scheduled infrastructure meeting at the White House this morning.
SALT LAKE CITY — The Trump administration on Wednesday made a decision in support of a faith-based foster care agency in South Carolina Miracle Hill, like many conservative, religious foster care agencies, has been under fire for the last year for refusing to work with LGBT couples for religious
The Trump administration has adopted a host of anti-LGBTQ actions over much of the past couple of years. And when the Obama administration put out a guidance protecting trans people in federally funded schools (including in bathrooms and locker rooms), Trump vowed to do away with the guidance.
In May 2012, a New York Times article confirmed Parsons was gay and in a long-term relationship. “The Big Bang Theory” actor spoke about his personal life when accepting GLSEN Respect Awards' the Inspiration Award the following year. He said, “I’ve never considered my relationship with Todd [Spiewak] to be an act of activism. Rather simply, it’s an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs [out]—a regular life, boring love.”
Fox opened up about being bisexual in a 2009 interview to Esquire magazine and stated, “I think people are born bisexual and then make subconscious choices based on the pressures of society. I have no question in my mind about being bisexual.”
In 2007, the “Silence of the Lambs” actress appeared to confirm her same-sex relationship when she thanked then partner Cydney Bernard.
A more formal declaration was made in 2013, when she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes. She said, “So while I’m here being all confessional, I guess I have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public… I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met.”
'Please don't disturb us': Children write to LGBT school protesters
Pupils have written to campaigners asking them not to "disturb us" as demonstrations continue over the teaching of LGBT lessons. Protests have been taking place outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham for more than seven weeks - with police officers present on Monday. They say the lessons at the Sparkhill school are intolerant of Islamic beliefs and are "indoctrinating" children by teaching them about same-sex relationships and gender identity.
Trump ’s record of action against transgender peopleSince the day President Trump took office, his administration has waged a nonstop In order to keep the administration accountable for its policies and help transgender people keep track of actions taken Anti- Transgender and Anti- LGBT Actions.
The Trump administration on Wednesday night rescinded Obama-era guidance directing schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms And ACLU LGBT project director James Esseks said in a statement, "Revoking the guidance shows that the president's promise to protect LGBT rights was
The award-winning English actor revealed he was gay during a program on BBC Radio 3; the show was discussing a (then) controversial section of the Local Government Bill 1988. The legislation prevented local authorities from “intentionally promoting homosexuality or publishing material with the intention of promoting homosexuality.”
Ten years later, during an interview about the Stonewall Riots in New York, U.S., in 1969, McKellen said, “I have many regrets about not having come out earlier, but one of them might be that I didn’t engage myself in the politicking.”
The Panic! at the Disco vocalist came out as pansexual in an interview with the Paper magazine. He said, “I’m married to a woman and I’m very much in love with her, but I’m not opposed to a man because to me, I like a person. Yeah, I guess you could qualify me as pansexual because I really don’t care... If a person is great, then a person is great. I just like good people, if your heart’s in the right place. I’m definitely attracted to men. It’s just people that I am attracted to.”
The “Twilight” star has repeatedly spoken about her sexuality post her break-up with co-star Robert Pattinson. After coming out during a “Saturday Night Live” episode in February 2017, Stewart told the Guardian in a March interview that she doesn’t understand why bisexuals are labelled as “confused.” “It’s not confusing at all. For me, it’s quite the opposite,” she said. “I’m just trying to acknowledge that fluidity, that greyness, which has always existed. But maybe only now are we allowed to start talking about it.”
In a 2013 interview to Seventeen magazine, the pop star spoke about her sexual orientation and said that she is attracted to both men and women. “I don’t love just men. I love people. It’s not about a gender. It’s just about the spirit that exudes from that other person you’re with,” she said.
Same-sex couples start registering marriages in Taiwan
Hundreds of same-sex couples in Taiwan are rushing to the household registration office on the first day that a landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage has taken effect. The office for registering the unions was packed Friday as couples seized the earliest opportunity to tie the knot. Taiwan became the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage last week.
Gay rights advocates are sounding the alarm over what they say is a quiet campaign being waged by Donald Trump ’s administration to chip away at hard-fought protections for LGBT Americans. “They get to talk out of both sides of their mouth.” Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, joined the
The Latin pop singer posted about his orientation on his official website in March 2010. He stated, “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am. These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within, and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.”
In 2010, the “True Blood” star announced her bisexuality in a PSA video promoting the Give a Damn campaign, saying, “I’m Anna Paquin. I’m bisexual and I give a d***.”
The Oscar and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter came out in 2014, when he released his debut album, “In the Lonely Hour.” At the time, he said the album was “… about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love back… It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know – I want to be clear that that’s what it’s about… People wouldn’t ask a straight person these questions.”
In an April 2018 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the actor-singer admitted she initially identified herself as a bisexual, but later with pansexuality. She said, “...later I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am.”
Thorne, who played CeCe Jones in the Disney sitcom “Shake It Up,” confirmed her bisexuality on Twitter in 2016. She posted an intimate photo of herself with another woman, to which a fan asked: “Are you bisexual?” Thorne’s reply: “Yes.”
Barrymore admitted she was bisexual in a 2003 interview with Contact Music, saying, “I love a woman’s body. I think a woman, and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body, but through someone else.”
The “Juno” and “Inception” star came out on Valentine’s Day in 2014, at the Human Rights Campaign’s Time to Thrive conference. Speaking at the event, she said, “I’m here today because I am gay, and because maybe I can make a difference, to help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.”
Page added, “I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered, and my relationships suffered. And I'm standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.”
The popular daytime talk show host and comedian announced her sexuality in style, by featuring on the cover of Time magazine’s April 1997 issue with the headline “Yep, I’m Gay.” Speaking about the cover later, she said, “I never wanted to be ‘the lesbian actress.’ I never wanted to be the spokesperson for the gay community. Ever. I did it for my own truth.”
Portia de Rossi
The “Ally McBeal” and “Arrested Development” star acknowledged her sexual orientation in 2005, in interviews with Details and The Advocate magazines.
A more public acknowledgement came in 2013, when she accompanied partner Ellen DeGeneres to the Golden Globes red carpet, of which she said, “Ellen [DeGeneres] and I had been together for a month, and I was very, very nervous going to that [Golden Globe Awards] because I knew that I was going to meet up with her after the show and that there was press. That was the first time that we actually stepped out together as a couple, but for me, it was the first time that I’d stepped out as a gay woman, really.”
Best known for her role as Miranda Hobbes in the “Sex and the City” franchise, Nixon disclosed her sexuality in 2012, calling her orientation “a choice.” Speaking to The New York Times later that year, she said, “While I don’t often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship.”
In a 2014 interview with Diane Sawyer (and the last one given as the gender transition), the former Olympic gold medalist said she wanted to be recognized as a woman. The following year, she was featured on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, with the headline “Call me Caitlyn.” She then tweeted, “I’m so happy after such a long struggle to be living my own true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.”
The Australian actress, model and musician was 12 years old when she came out to her mother. In an interview with Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY in February 2017, she admitted she was unsure of how to describe her feelings. She said, “I was just worried because I didn’t know it was a thing. I knew how I felt, I knew what I kind of identified as, but the words gay or lesbian, I didn’t know anyone else that was gay or lesbian, so I didn’t really know how to word it. I was just like, ‘I think I should let you know that when I eventually get a boyfriend, it will be a girl.’”
Although John said he was bisexual in a 1976 interview with Rolling Stone, he did not confirm he was gay till another interview with the same magazine in 1988. At that time, he said, “[Coming out] gave me the freedom to be who I was for the rest of my life. I don’t have to hide around corners. The worse thing is to be afraid of who you are - it’s horrible.”
Lana and Lilly Wachowski
Known for cult sci-fi hits such as “The Matrix” series and “Cloud Atlas,” Lana (L) and Lilly both came out as transgender in 2008 and 2016, respectively. Lana informed her family while shooting the second and third installments of “The Matrix.” Lilly did so in a statement to Windy City News, after being approached by a Daily Mail reporter. To the latter, she said, “Yeah, I’m transgender. And yeah, I’ve transitioned.”
Evan Rachel Wood
The “Westworld” star revealed her bisexuality in a 2011 interview with Esquire magazine. In 2017, speaking at a Human Rights campaign gala, she said, “A light bulb went off [when she first heard the word "bisexual"). The word didn’t make me feel marginalized. It made me feel less crazy. It made me feel less alone. It gave me hope.”
Billie Joe Armstrong
The Green Day frontman spoke openly about his sexuality in a 1995 interview with The Advocate and said, “I think I have always been bisexual. I think people are born bisexual, and it’s just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of, ‘Oh, I can’t.’ They say it’s taboo. It’s ingrained in our heads that it’s bad when it’s not bad at all. It’s a very beautiful thing.”
Neil Patrick Harris
The “How I Met Your Mother” actor came out in November 2006. In an exclusive interview to People magazine, he said, “I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love.”
Purser, known for her role as Barbara Holland in “Stranger Things,” came out as bisexual on Twitter in April 2017. Her post read, “I don’t normally do this, but I figure now is as good a time as any to get personal. I’ve only just recently come out as bisexual to my friends and family. It’s something I am still processing and trying to understand, and I don’t like talking about it too much.”
The pop star revealed he was gay in April 2017 to People magazine. He stated, “I’m so private. I always have been. I thought I would be disappointing them [his fans] if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything.”
Born Andrej Pejić, the Bosnian-born Australian model went through sex reassignment surgery to transition from man to woman. In a 2014 Vogue interview, she (now Andreja) said, “I figured out who I was very early on — actually, at the age of 13, with the help of the Internet — so I knew that a transition, becoming a woman, was always something I needed to do.” Three years later, she became the first openly transgender model to be signed to the internationally renowned agency Ford Models.
The “Orange Is the New Black” star has a lot of “firsts” to her name. In 2014, she was the first transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy. Later that year, she also became the first openly transgender person on the cover of Time magazine. In the accompanying interview, she said, “My third-grade teacher called my mom and said, ‘Your son is going to end up in New Orleans wearing a dress.’ Up until that point I just thought that I was a girl and that there was no difference between girls and boys. I think in my imagination I thought that I would hit puberty and I would start turning into a girl.”
The “Prison Break” actor came out in August 2013, when he posted a letter on Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s (GLAAD) website declining an invitation to attend the Saint Petersburg International Film Festival. He wrote, “As a gay man, I must decline. I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”
The comedian, actress and TV personality acknowledged being gay in February 2002, during a benefit for Ovarian Cancer Research. She stated, “I don’t know why people make such a big deal about the gay thing... People are confused, they’re shocked like this is a big revelation to somebody.”
The child of singers Sonny and Cher, Bono opted for a female-to-male sex reassignment surgery in 2008. In 2011, he wrote about his experiences in a New York Times Best Seller “Transition: Becoming Who I Was Always Meant to Be.” Five years later, he said, “I didn’t live my life as a girl. I lived my life as a male inside a female body for a long time.”
The “Star Trek” actor came out as a gay man in an interview with New York magazine in October 2011. He said, “…living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.”
The “Teen Wolf” actor appeared to come out after a January 2016 post on Tumblr sparked speculation. A fan commented on Haynes’ racy modeling pictures as a “secret gay past,” to which Haynes replied – “Was it a secret?”
A little surprised by all the attention, Haynes made a more formal declaration in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in May that year. He said, “It was a complete shock. I wasn’t ready to be back in the headlines. I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they’re ready, and I wasn’t yet. But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said.”
Woodley, who gained recognition for her role in the TV series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014 “I fall in love with human beings based on who they are. Not based on what they do or what sex they are.”
In 2010, Hayes, who is known for playing Jack McFarland (also gay) in hit sitcom “Will & Grace,” spoke to The Advocate about his sexuality. The actor said, “I never have had a problem saying who I am. I am who I am.”
In August 2017, the American singer revealed he was bisexual via a post on Twitter, which read, “This doesn’t bring me shame, just a weight and burden I have held on to for a long time that I would like lifted off me.”
Ramirez disclosed she was bisexual in a speech at the True Colors Fund’s 40 to None Summit in Los Angeles, California, U.S., in 2016. “Because of the intersections that exist in my own life: woman, multi-racial woman, woman of color, queer, bisexual, Mexican-Irish American, immigrant… I am deeply invested in projects that allow our youth’s voices to be heard, and that support our youth in owning their own complex narratives...”
“The Good Wife” star identifies himself as bisexual and, in an interview, said, “I’m sexually attracted to the female form even though I am with a man and I just feel that bisexuals have a bad rap.”
Stenberg, known for her role in “The Hunger Games,” revealed she was bisexual in a 2016 Snapchat appearance for Teen Vogue. “It’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and mold yourself into shapes you just shouldn’t be in. As someone who identifies as a black, bisexual woman I’ve been through it, and it hurts, and it’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable,” she said.
Plaza came out as bisexual in a 2016 interview to The Advocate and said, “I know I have an androgynous thing going on, and there’s something masculine about my energy. Girls are into me—that’s no secret. Hey, I’m into them too. I fall in love with girls and guys.”
The American record producer acknowledged his bisexuality in his memoir “The Soundtrack of My Life.” Davis, who has been married and divorced twice, came out on the Katie Couric show “Katie” in 2013. “I’m still attracted to women. You don’t have to be only one thing or another. For me it’s the person. I’m in a monogamous relationship, [and] I respect monogamy. And I hope that this is understood.”
The “Matilda” actress disclosed her bisexuality in a series of tweets in 2016. Her revelation came after the tragic massacre at a gay club in Orlando. In an interview to a civil rights organization, the actress said, “One of the reasons I didn’t come out for a very long time was because I grew up hearing that bisexual girls were ‘crazy.’ I heard that all the time. I heard that bisexual girls were ‘crazy,’ they were greedy, they were selfish and they caused drama. They were the worst. They wanted attention.”
The “Glee” alum chose an Ariana Grande song to express his sexuality in April 2018. “#NoTearsLeftToCry is gayer than me and I ACCEPT. Ty @ArianaGrande,” tweeted.
The “13 Reasons Why” actor, who was in a relationship with English singer-songwriter Sam Smith, came out in an emotional Instagram post on Sept. 17, 2017.
He said: “Just saw the 'vote no' message in the sky, looming over Sydney. Thank you for raising money and hiring on a plane to write your lack of support amongst the clouds. I hope your hate and lack of understanding fades, just like those words will. Too many of my friends have been kicked out of their homes, kept in the closet, beat up, killed, ridiculed by church and state, institutionalized... and you are scared that if we vote YES, you won’t be able to show your hate for Us. F*** that. We’ve been scared s***less our whole lives thanks to all the stigmas that surround Us, stigmas that were set in place by the same kind of people who flew that plane over Sydney. We’ve fought, we’ve come out bravely even in our fear, and you wrote a message in the sky because you’re scared. Equality takes courage, it worries me that too many people in this world lack the balls to stand up for what is right. #f***hate.”
In 2012, the “White Collar” actor publicly thanked his partner Simon Halls and their three children while accepting the Steve Chase Humanitarian Award. Bomer stated, “I’d really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry. Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is. You will always be my proudest accomplishment.”
The Queen + Adam Lambert front man confirmed he was gay in an interview with Rolling Stone in June 2009. He said, “I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear I’m gay… I’m proud of my sexuality.”
The “Good Morning America” co-host acknowledged her sexual orientation in a Facebook post in December 2013. She wrote, “At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude. I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health... I am grateful for my entire family, my long-time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together.”
The singer-songwriter chose the Triangle Ball in January 1993 to announce her sexuality. She said, “I think one of the many fears people have about homosexuality is around the children. I think that the more gay parents raise good, strong, compassionate people, the better the world will be.”
The Canadian actor first spoke about his orientation in 2012, during an interview with Canadian magazine FYI. When asked about his proudest achievement, he replied, “My relationships with my family and my friends. My companion Rainer Andreesen and I have been together almost 13 years in Greenwich Village. We both love New York.” He further confirmed it in 2013, stating, “I don’t really talk about it but everybody knows.”
The “Star Trek” actor came out in October 2005 during an interview with Frontiers magazine. He revealed, “It’s not really coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through. It’s more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen.”
The NSYNC singer came out in July 2006, in a cover story for People magazine. Bass stated, “The thing is, I’m not ashamed — that’s the one thing I want to say. I don’t think it’s wrong, I’m not devastated going through this. I’m more liberated and happy than I’ve been my whole life. I’m just happy.”
The writer, actress and comedian came out during a same-sex marriage rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., in November 2008. She said, “I don’t really talk about my sexual orientation. I didn’t feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life. Everybody that knows me personally, they know I’m gay. But that’s the way people should be able to live their lives… I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay.”
In July 2017, the “Heroes” actor revealed he was gay and married actor Jesse Haddock in April. He wrote on Twitter: “My sexual orientation once again came into question this week when a prominent gay man used an awards acceptance speech to “out” me. While he did not mention me by name, the explicit details of his reference made it easy for the public and media to connect the dots. While it is an odd situation, I thank him because it presents a prime opportunity for me to publicly say that I am indeed a man who proudly loves other men. In fact, this April, I married my husband and I could not be happier.”
The Canadian pop and country singer announced she was a gay person in The Advocate in June 1992. She stated, “I grew up feeling like there was no one else, no one that I could relate to. If my coming out of the closet makes [my fans] rethink their ideas about gay people, then I’ve done something good.”
The “Roseanne” actress confirmed she was a lesbian in July 2010, before the launch of her show “The Talk.” She stated, “I don’t think it will be a problem. I don’t ever really think of things as ‘out ‘or ‘in.’ I just think I am who I am, and when topics come up that are appropriate, I’ll talk about them and share when it seems right.”
Wright, one of the first country music artists to come out as gay, acknowledged her orientation in May 2010 to People magazine. She remarked, “Nothing in my life has been more magical than the moment I decided to come out.”
The New Kids on the Block member posted on the band’s website in January 2011: “I have lived my life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay.” Prior to his confirming his sexual orientation, he was outed by pop singer Tiffany, who briefly dated him.
The “Family Ties” actress came out during an interview with Matt Lauer on the “Today” show in 2009. She disclosed, “I am a lesbian and it was a later-in-life recognition. Some people would say, ‘Well, you’re living a lie,’ and, you know, the truth is — not at all. This has only been for the past seven years.”
The country singer came out in November 2014 during an interview with People magazine. He stated, “…I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone’s son or daughter or grandchild’s life not be as difficult as mine has been. Maybe they wouldn’t have to go through as much pain and suffering.”
Smollett, who is known for playing Jamal Lyon in the musical drama series “Empire,” came out during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in March 2015. He said, “There’s never been a closet... that I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don’t have a closet, but I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home… when I say that I don’t talk about my personal life, I’m saying that. But it is in no way to hide or deny who God made me.”
Nairn, who played Hodor in the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” revealed in an interview on a fan site in March 2014, “When you talk about ‘the gay community,’ you are talking about MY community... I AM aware of it yeah, and I think it’s really lovely. Again, it’s a privilege, and I really mean that.” He also added that his sexuality is “a very small part of who I am on the whole, but nonetheless, in this day and age, it’s important to stand up and be counted.”
The actor, who played a closeted gay man in the crime drama series “The Playboy Club,” came out in real life during an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2011. He said, “I was nervous coming here today because I’ve just never talked about it. But, it’s so liberating. It was interesting to be coming to have a conversation that I was always afraid to have. This is my coming out ball. I’ve been dying to do this.”
The Kivitis are each biologically related to their children. Under the policy, however, children born via gestational surrogacy and other forms of assisted reproductive technology (ART) are considered to be born “out of wedlock,” in the State Department’s words—even if their parents, like Roee and Adiel, are legally married.
“They basically take our marriage, and they say ‘it doesn’t mean anything. Your child was born out of wedlock,’” Adiel said. “We were there when she was born, she took her first breaths in our arms. Make no mistake: we are her parents—we are her only parents on her only birth certificate.”
Children born out of wedlock face higher legal and logistical hurdles to obtaining birthright citizenship: in addition to submission of DNA tests proving genetic links to U.S. citizen parents, their parents must be able to testify that they can support their children financially, and must prove that they have been present in the United States for at least five years prior to the child’s birth. Adiel, who was born in Israel, only recently became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He had lived in the United States since May 2015, and for one year in law school, but still fell short of five years.
“We are now in a very, very strange scenario,” Adiel said. “We are both American citizens; we live in the U.S.; I have a business here, Roee has his job here; we file our taxes as a married couple here... and the State Department is saying that our daughter isn’t entitled to U.S. citizenship because she was born ‘out of wedlock.’”
Related: Key moments in LGBT rights history (Photos)
Key moments in LGBT history
Carlos McKnight of Washington waves a flag in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015.
1785: Jeremy Bentham essay
Jeremy Bentham was an English philosopher, jurist, and economist, and social reformer and was an early advocated for the decriminalization of homosexual acts. In 1785, he wrote an essay advocating for homosexual rights titled "Offences Against One's Self." It was finally published in 1931 and remains a defining work in the gay rights movement.
1895: Oscar Wilde trial
Author, playwright, and poet Oscar Wilde was prosecuted in 1895 for "gross indecency" and sentenced to two years hard labor. The trial of a very public Victorian-era person and his candidness during the trial brought the issue of homosexuality to the forefront of society.
1910: Emma Goldman speaks out
Emma Goldman, a Lithuanian-born anarcho-communist known for her feminist anarchist writings and speeches, first started speaking about homosexual rights in 1910. She was one of the first Americans to stand up for gay rights.
1919: Magnus Hirschfeld research
In 1919, German doctor Magnus Hirschfeld founded the Institute for Sex Research, a pioneering private research institute and counseling office. He was an advocate for sexual minorities. The Nazis destroyed the comprehensive library in 1933.
1937: The pink triangle
In 1937, the Nazis first started using the pink triangle to identify gay men in the concentration camps. According to historical sources, between 5,000 and 15,000 homosexuals were deported to Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
Here, former Nazi concentration camp "pink triangle" deportee French-Czech Rudolf Brazda poses with his book "Pink triangle" on June 1st, 2010 in the French eastern city of Kingersheim. Brazda, 97, one of the last known survivors of homosexual deportation, spend 32 months at the Buchenwald concentration camp.
1950: Harry Hay and the Mattachine Society
Pictured here, Harry Hay (left), one of the founders of the gay rights movement, brushes the cheek of his partner John Burnside on July 19, 2002, at their home in San Francisco. Hay devoted his life to progressive politics and founded the secret network of support groups for gays known as the Mattachine Society in 1950. Hay was also among the first to argue that gays represented a cultural minority, not just individuals.
1952: Alan Turing trial
Alan Turing, considered one of the leading pioneers of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence -- in addition to being a noted English code breaker in World War II -- was prosecuted in 1952 for performing "homosexual acts." In 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a public apology for the "appalling" way he was treated.
1952: Christine Jorgensen
Christine Jorgensen, a former World War II-era GI, became the first widely known person to undergo male-to-female reassignment surgery in 1952.
1960s: Leo Abse
Leo Abse, a British Member of Parliament, was instrumental in lobbying tirelessly for a bill permitting homosexual acts between consenting adults in the 1960s.
1969: Stonewall Inn nightclub raid
Police raided the gay-friendly Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969, setting off a series of protests from the gay community. These public demonstrations are widely considered to be an important first step in the wider LGBT rights movement in the United States.
1975: Gay marriage in Colorado
Boulder County clerk and recorder Clela Rorex stumbled into history when two men asked her for a marriage license, which she granted. She issued a total of six licenses before Attorney General J.D. MacFarlane intervened, despite the questions about his authority over another elected official.
Rorex is seem here outside the offices of current County Clerk Hillary Hall, in Boulder, Colo., on Wednesday, July 2, 2014.
1977: Harvey Milk elected
Harvey Milk, shown here in front of his camera shop in 1977, became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. During his brief tenure, he introduced an ordinance that protected gays and lesbians from being fired from their jobs in San Francisco. He also led a campaign against banning gay teachers. He was assassinated in 1978.
1979: Gay Freedom Day Parade
Pictured here, a homosexual group calling itself The Advocate Experience paraded in front of San Francisco City Hall on June 24, 1979, during the 1979 Gay Freedom Day Parade and Celebration. The parade celebrated the 10th anniversary of the gay rights movement. Police say over a quarter million people attended the afternoon-long celebration.
1980: Democrats take a stand
At the Democratic National Convention in 1980, the Democrats become the first political party to add gay rights to their platform.
1987: National March on Washington
Pictured here, participants of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights carry a banner as they parade in front of the White House, on Oct. 11, 1987 in Washington, D.C. They wanted the President Ronald Reagan to address the AIDS crisis. Police estimated that some 50,000 people participated in the march.
1987: ACT UP founded
ACT UP was founded in 1987 by Larry Kramer as a response to the government's slow response to the AIDS crisis in the United States.
1997: Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres' character came out as a lesbian in the historic 1997 episode titled "The Puppy Episode."
1998: Matthew Shepard
Matthew Shepard was a gay University of Wyoming student who was found beaten and tortured to death in 1998. His murder brought international attention to hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels. In 2009, Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.
2000: Vermont legalizes civil unions
Pictured here, Vermont Justice of the Peace Robert Dixon holds up the state civil union license that allowed him to unite Declan Buckley and Kevin Gato in a civil union in 2000. Vermont became the first state to legalize civil unions between lesbian and gay couples at midnight on July 1, 2000. Same-sex couples from several states rushed to take advantage of the opportunity.
2004: Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage
Pictured here, successful lawsuit plaintiffs Julie and Hillary Goodridge shake hands with the registrar after applying for their marriage license with their eight-year-old daughter Annie at City Hall in Boston on May 17, 2004. Massachusetts became the first state in the United States to legally sanction same-sex marriage based on the ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court sought by the Goodridges.
2010: Don't ask, don't tell
The Senate voted to do away with the military's 17-year ban on openly gay troops on Dec. 18, 2010, and sent President Barack Obama legislation to overturn the Clinton-era policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."
2014: Laverne Cox nominated for Emmy
In 2014, actress Laverne Cox became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award. She was nominated for her role in the TV show "Orange is the New Black."
2015: Ireland approves gay marriage by popular vote
Pictured here, people react after Ireland voted in favor of allowing same-sex marriage in a historic referendum, in Dublin on May 23, 2015. Ireland became the first country in the world to adopt same-sex marriage by popular vote as 62 percent of the electorate backed the referendum.
2015: Supreme Court ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2015, that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry . With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states.
For parents of non-traditional families, the policy change has been a disaster, leaving them to navigate the labyrinthine immigration legal system with little guidance from the State Department and, at the moment, little recourse for appeal. Children of U.S. citizens are put at risk of deportation or even statelessness—despite no textual legal basis for the policy. The INA, signed into law when gestational surrogacy was science fiction and same-sex marriage was a fantasy, makes no reference to biological relationships in determining the citizenship of the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad to married U.S. citizens.
When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, lifting a ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriages, the Department of Homeland Security issued a guidance declaring that “just as [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services] applies all relevant laws to determine the validity of an opposite-sex marriage, we will apply all relevant laws to determine the validity of a same-sex marriage.” On its face, immigration attorneys told The Daily Beast, that would include the INA.
That “assumption of parentage,” as the State Department calls it, now seems to LGBT parents to be reserved solely for heterosexual married couples. Only same-sex couples, whose non-traditional family structure sticks out like a sore thumb, end up facing scrutiny over how their children came into the world, parents told The Daily Beast—and as a result, whether they are eligible for birthright citizenship.
“State says children born through ART require extra paperwork for proof of citizenship, but there are no boxes on any citizenship forms which indicate ART is used,” one woman, a former U.S. military intelligence officer who is married to a senior U.S. military officer, told The Daily Beast. When their son was born on an American military base abroad last fall, it took months for their application for his U.S. passport to be processed—and only after they submitted reams of paperwork proving that one of the two women was the gestational mother, confirming whether or not the former officer had a “genetic relationship” with her son, and “physical evidence” that they had used an anonymous sperm donor.
“If we did [in-vitro fertilization] and were hetero, we could have a different egg and sperm that were not genetically related to us, but due to… the ‘assumption of parentage’ which exists for married couples, they would not question the birth,” said the former officer, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of her wife’s position in the military.
“It was so dumb, regardless—we were both American citizens, so it should have been a non-issue,” the former officer added, noting that many LGBT service members having children overseas are facing similar pushback from the State Department, but the random nature of the problems, and their resolution, makes her believe that “it all depends on the individual who is handling your case and their personal feelings.”
“I went back and forth with State and finally ended up receiving a call from the chief of the office who handles the citizenship paperwork,” the former officer said. “She ended up landing on, ‘you can just send me an ultrasound with your wife's name on it, that's good enough.’ So, obviously, this is not real policy if they can pick and choose how to handle it.”
Related: Donald Trump - life in pictures (Photos)
Here's a look at the journey of Donald Trump, from being a real-estate mogul to becoming the 45th President of the U.S.
Born on June 14, 1946, in New York City, New York, U.S., to real estate developer Frederick Trump and Mary McLeod, Trump graduated in 1968 from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a a degree in economics. He was eligible for the draft lottery during the Vietnam War, but a combination of student and medical deferments disqualified him from service.
Early in his career, Trump invested $70,000 in a Broadway comedy – “Paris Is Out” – which remains his only producer credit for theatricals to date; the play was a flop. The next year, he began his real estate career – he joined his father’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son.
By 1971, he’d moved to Manhattan and was handling some of the largest and most profitable building projects in the city. He was given full control of the company later that year.
The future U.S. president spent the ‘70s networking and making connections with some of New York’s most influential people. Focused on maximizing profits, he involved himself in large-scale building projects in Manhattan and, by 1980, opened the Grand Hyatt Hotel next to the Grand Central Station. He also secured the Fifth Avenue site that would go on to house Trump Tower.
In 1977, Trump married Ivana Zelníčková, a New York-based fashion model. Born on Feb. 20, 1949, Zelníčková was briefly considered for Czechoslovakia’s skiing team at the 1972 Winter Olympics. The couple had two sons – Donald Jr. and Eric, as well as a daughter, Ivanka.
Trump Tower – a $200 million apartment-retail complex - was opened in 1983 and generated considerable national attention. The 58-story structure features a grand atrium, a 60-foot-high (18.3 meters) waterfall, luxurious apartments and retail stores.
Looking to profit off the growing casino market, Trump acquired and re-built the Taj Mahal (pictured), a hotel and casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for a rumored $1.2 billion. It was relaunched as the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in 1990.
In May 2017, Trump reportedly sold the hotel, which he earlier labeled the "eighth wonder of the world," for $50 million.
He continued to buy new business ventures and diversify his holdings, acquiring Eastern Air Lines Shuttle for $365 million in 1989 and renaming it Trump Shuttle. Three years later, his dream of an uber-expensive airline service ran out of cash and defaulted on its debt.
Following the real estate slump of the late 1980s and early '90s, Trump’s empire took a hit and sustained itself almost wholly on loans. His own valuation of the company was $1.5 billion; Forbes’ valued it at only a third of that figure.
In 1991, Trump divorced Ivana and, two years later, married American actress Marla Maples. The marriage lasted for four years before Trump filed for divorce in 1997. The divorce was finalized in 1999 and Maples received $2 million under the prenuptial agreement. Together, they have a daughter, Tiffany.
Trump’s first serious stab at entering politics was on Oct. 7, 1999, when he formed an exploratory committee to decide on seeking the Reform Party’s candidacy for the 2000 U.S. presidential election.
The businessman, who claimed he could achieve universal healthcare and eliminate national debt as president, named popular talk show host and media magnate Oprah Winfrey as his ideal running mate. His campaign never went beyond this phase – he failed to gain support for his bid.
Between 2004 and 2015, Trump hosted and starred in the NBC reality TV series “The Apprentice” (2004-15; pictured), a show on which three of his children – Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric – also made appearances.
In 2005, Trump married Slovenian model-turned-jewelry designer Melania Knauss, with whom he has a son, Barron William.
In 2012, Trump considered entering politics yet again – another run for president. However, his reputation took a hit after he associated himself with the “Birther” movement – a group that believed then-U.S. President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the country.
(Pictured) With Obama during Trump's presidential inauguration in January 2017.
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced a run for the Republican ticket for the 2016 presidential election. One of the more controversial candidates in recent times, he dominated media coverage with outrageous comments about fellow candidates and contentious immigration policies.
On May 26, 2016, Trump received the support of 1,238 delegates and secured the Republican Party’s nomination for the next presidential race. He beat U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (Texas), Marco Rubio (Florida) and Ohio Governor John Kasich, among others, and was confirmed as their nominee on July 19.
Trump faced Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in three debates: on Sept. 26, Oct. 4 and Oct. 9, 2016, as part of the build-up to the election on Nov. 8, 2016.
On Nov. 9, Trump defeated Clinton to become the 45th U.S. President. In a close battle, the 70-year-old candidate won more than the required number of Electoral College votes but lost the popular vote.
Trump’s presidential inauguration was on Jan. 20, 2017, and, in his first week as U.S. president, he signed six Executive Orders, including the reinforcement of border security and the planning of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In March 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13780, titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which limited travel into the U.S. from certain countries. It also limited the inflow of refugees without valid travel documents.
In September that year, he signed Presidential Proclamation 9645, which expanded on the previous order. It restricted travel from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.
In December, the Supreme Court allowed the ban to go into full effect, pending legal challenges.
Rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change and asserting that the Paris Agreement would do very little to ease global warming, Trump announced the withdrawal of the U.S. from the climate accords in June 2017, making his nation the only one in the world to not ratify the agreement.
In December, he signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which reduced personal tax brackets, increased child tax credit and cut corporate tax rate to 21 percent, among other reforms.
In the same month, he also signed Space Policy Directive 1, which marked a change in the nation's space policy. It would now allow an U.S.-led integrated program with partners from the private sector, ensuring another human landing on the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond.
In January 2018, Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address, where he called on all politicians to "summon the unity" necessary to fix the country's infrastructure and flawed immigration systems.
During his time as a running Presidential candidate, Trump said he intended to roll back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allowed people who illegally entered or stayed in the U.S. as minors to receive a renewable period of deferred action from deportation (for two years) and also be eligible for a work permit.
In September 2017, the Trump administration announced DACA would be repealed after six months, which led to nationwide protests.
In January 2018, after a number of flip-flops on the decision, the White House finally agreed to release a "legislative framework" outlining a compromise on DACA, provided a considerable amount (around $30B) is appropriated for the border wall.
Trump’s foreign policies have grabbed eyeballs (and controversy) across the world. These include working on relations with Cuba, the violence-marred shifting of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and trying to lift sanctions against Russia.
However, none of these have quite transfixed the world as the attempt solve the North Korea crisis. In July 2017, under the supervision of its leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The following month, Trump warned Kim that further provocations would be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
By March the following year, after a historic summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the White House confirmed Trump would meet Kim in Singapore in June. True to his negotiating style, the U.S. president then threatened to pull out of the meeting before appearing to relent and re-confirm the potentially world-changing June 12 meet.
That slapdash approach to the department’s policy, and a remark made by personnel at the Army Passport Office noting that this was the first case they’d heard of the State Department pushing back, “makes me concerned for the Trumpitization of our government offices,” the former officer said.
In response to a detailed list of questions regarding the policy, its disproportionate effects on same-sex couples, and whether all parents seeking a CRBA are asked if their children were the result of surrogacy, a State Department spokesperson told The Daily Beast that “the Department of State does not comment on pending litigation or arbitration.”
For other parents, hoping to squeeze through the cracks in a broken system isn’t an option—which means taking the federal government to court to defend their family.
When Allison Blixt moved to London in April 2008 to be with her girlfriend, Stefania Zaccari, her feelings were all over the place.
“On the one hand, I was so excited, and so happy, and so lucky that we could be together, but I was also super-angry that in order for that to happen, I had to move,” Allison said. “I had to leave everyone that I knew and loved, and I had to leave a life that I wanted in New York.”
Allison, a lawyer from North Carolina, and Stefania, a tourist visiting from Italy, had met at a bar in New York City two years earlier, a moment that formed a relationship that has largely been defined by their distance. For two years, they traveled back and forth, trying and failing to find a way that Stefania could come to the United States for longer than a 90-day stretch. They even broke up briefly, the Defense of Marriage Act standing as a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to a bi-national lesbian relationship.
“Moving away was the only way for us to be together,” Allison told The Daily Beast. “And we built a life here.”
The pair knew that they wanted children, but, like so much in their relationship, much of it came down to timing. They decided that Stefania, the older of the two, would go first, and their first son, Lucas Alexander Zaccari-Blixt, was born in January 2015, slightly more than three weeks after Allison and Stefania converted their civil partnership to a valid marriage.
“I thought he would get citizenship, because we were married,” Allison said. “He would be viewed as my child, no question.” © Provided by The Daily Beast Courtesy Allison Blixt
But when she went to the U.S. embassy in London to obtain Lucas’ CRBA, there were a lot of questions—many of them deeply intrusive.
“I was thinking, ‘this is not going to end well,’” Allison said.
After hours in the embassy, Lucas’ application for a U.S. passport was denied on the grounds that he was not genetically related to Allison, despite her name on his birth certificate and her marriage to his birth mother.
“I remember standing in the embassy in shock. All that emotion that I had when we first moved here, being rejected, was now being re-lived, but at the time, it wasn’t about me—it was about my son,” Allison said. “I’m not a cry-in-public kind of person, so I tried to hold it in, but I was really, really upset.”
When Allison gave birth to their second son, Massimiliano, in February 2017, the family went to the embassy to apply for his passport—and to reapply for Lucas’, hoping that the intervening years would mean a different result. Massimiliano obtained his passport, but Lucas’ was denied again, this time on the same “out of wedlock” grounds that the State Department used to deny Kessem’s passport.
“They’re basically saying, ‘yes, Massi is your son, but Lucas isn’t.’ How do we explain that to our kids, that they’re not the same? That’s appalling,” Allison said. “He’s being treated like someone who has no connection to the U.S., much as a stepchild would. It’s offensive.”
For parents caught in the middle of the State Department’s policy, navigating travel and legal residency has become a comedy of errors. According to Allison, it’s “almost entertaining” when she returns to the United States with her family, slapping down a stack of American, Italian and British passports.
Even U.S. border agents—a cohort not known for their friendliness—have been “quite surprised that Lucas isn’t American,” Allison said.
But for LGBT families, who have only enjoyed the nationwide right to marriage for less than five years, even a curious look from a border agent is a humiliating reminder of the patchwork nature of legal protections for non-traditional families.
“Where is my child supposed to live? Is she supposed to go back to Canada?” asked Adiel rhetorically. “Can I live there? The scenario is just ridiculous. I cannot believe that these are the values of the American government.” © Provided by The Daily Beast Maggie Keefe, Bebe Newborn Photography / Calgary, Alberta, Canada, February 2019
Immigration Equality, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBT people in the immigration system, has taken Allison and Stefania’s case to federal court, where they have argued that the policy “hurts families and undermines the familial relationships of same-sex parents.” The group has had early success arguing that children of married same-sex couples born abroad are entitled to birthright citizenship—in a concurrent case involving Ethan Dvash-Banks, the two-year-old son of a gay couple, a federal judge ruled in February that “the basis for the State Department’s imposition of a biological requirement is its strained interpretation” of existing immigration law.
But the State Department’s decision to appeal that ruling, Allison said, could mean that the question of her son’s citizenship could drag on for years.
“When the government appealed last week, I mean... I thought, I can’t believe it,” Allison said. “If we want to actually move to the U.S., we can’t just wait until the case is resolved. We have to find other solutions.”
For some parents, such solutions are within reach. When Adiel, born an Israeli citizen, became naturalized, he was told that any future children who obtained a green card were immediately entitled to naturalization as well—meaning that if Kessem obtains a green card, she will functionally be recognized as a naturalized American citizen.
But to Kessem’s fathers, that backdoor to U.S. citizenship represents a capitulation—an admission that the State Department was right to withhold her birthright citizenship in the first place.
“On the one hand, we want to do what’s best for our child, and as parents, we’ll do just that.” Adiel said. “I’m not going to sit by and watch her get deported.”
But, Adiel added, “there is a moral reason to have this fight, and not to cave.”
“You see a gay man running for president on the cover of Time magazine with his husband, and then you get a call from the State Department essentially saying that your daughter ‘out-of-wedlock’ daughter is not entitled to a passport,” Roee said. “You’re thinking, what is this parallel universe that we’re living in?”
The ability to fight the government’s policy is, itself, evidence that American citizenship has a special meaning, Allison said—and that the privileges afforded by citizenship need to be exercised on behalf of those who aren’t so lucky.
“We are very lucky—we were able to live abroad to be together, we were able to have two amazing children, we have a great life here... and there are a lot of people in a lot worse situations than ours,” Allison said. “And because of that, it also means that we are lucky enough to be in a position where we can fight it.”
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Same-sex couples start registering marriages in Taiwan.
Hundreds of same-sex couples in Taiwan are rushing to the household registration office on the first day that a landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage has taken effect. The office for registering the unions was packed Friday as couples seized the earliest opportunity to tie the knot. Taiwan became the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage last week.